- Tom VanHaaren, ESPN Staff Writer
Michigan has always had some success recruiting in Texas. Since the local universities do so well with keeping their in-state prospects at home, it's a victory to pull any elite-level prospect out of Texas.
The Wolverines are once again going after Texas products as the staff has extended offers recently to running backs Keith Ford (Cypress, Texas/Cypress Ranch) and Kyle Hicks (Arlington, Texas/Martin), wide receiver Marcell Ateman (Wylie, Texas/Wylie East), offensive lineman J.J. Gustafson (Dallas/Jesuit) and a few others.
The newest offer, however, was extended today to defensive tackle Justin Manning (Dallas/Kimball). The 6-foot-2, 275-pound tackle now holds offers from Michigan, Arizona, USC, Texas, Miami and Tennessee among others.
The Michigan offer came as a bit of a surprise, but Manning happened to have a run in with the Wolverines before the offer.
"I worked out with a guy that used to play for Michigan a little bit ago, and he was saying Michigan was his school," he said. "Then the coaches came by and offered me, so I want to get to know them a little better."
Manning says he doesn't currently know much about the Wolverines' program, but distance won't be an issue for him.
"I might try to visit up there in the summer or after football season is over," he said. "The distance doesn't matter to me, I'll go wherever."
He says he doesn't have a top list of schools yet, and would like to take his time with his decision.
"I'm going to start thinking about everything after the season is over," he said.
Manning says his strengths are his speed and technique, and when asked if he could compare himself to anyone else, he had a familiar name in mind.
"I think either No. 57 for Alabama (D.J. Pettway), or DeMarcus Granger," he said. "DeMarcus is my brother, he went to Oklahoma so I know about them."
His brother was also a top defensive tackle prospect out of high school, and if Justin is anything like his brother, he'll have a very successful career.